he COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the news industry both domestically and around the world, two leading editors said during the university’s presidential speaker series, The Way Forward.
Matt Murray, editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, and Peter Spiegel, US managing editor of the Financial Times, said international financial media organizations have had to balance concerns about the safety of its employees with the increased difficulty of communicating with each other remotely.
“There's definitely anxiety and people definitely feel it, but we had a simple rule: Nobody should go into any situation, or do any reporting, that makes them personally uncomfortable,” said Murray. “Their personal safety and feeling of security is paramount.”
“The ability to coordinate from a management perspective has been much more of a challenge because you're not in the newsroom,” Spiegel added, describing the challenging lack of being able to overhear coverage plans in other sections and by other reporters within the same organization. “The fun of being a reporter is being in that newsroom and interacting with really smart, fun, interesting colleagues.”
The virtual discussion, held on July 17, was moderated by Chris Roush, dean of the School of Communications, and Daryl Richard, vice president for marketing and communications.
However, the process has inspired news organizations around the world to further prioritize their digital products.
“We've seen a growth in our online traffic,” Spiegel said. "Our numbers are almost double what they were at the peak of the Brexit crisis, which was our previous all-time high.”